5 Reasons to see Die Antwoord
- David Pollock
- 5 January 2015
As if you weren't already hyped, we breakdown the wild anticipation behind the South African phenom
1 Everybody will be talking about it
Much of South African trio Die Antwoord’s (‘The Answer’ in Afrikaans) cultural capital has come from precisely that, getting people talking about them. Following years floating about the lower reaches of their home country’s rap-rock scene in various bands, Ninja, Yolandi Vi$$er and DJ Hi-Tek blew up online with the 2009 single ‘Enter the Ninja’. Since then their combination of brash beats and even more aggressive visuals has built them a loyal, not to mention obsessive, fanbase.
2 They have a scene of their own
It’s called ‘zef’, and debates over the precise translation are ongoing. Their style – shellsuits, shaved hair and rat-tails, bold colours and flesh on display – makes obvious what they’re going for, though, and lends credence to the idea that a precise UK translation of ‘zef’ would be ‘chav’ or ‘ned’.
3 They’re taboo-breaking
See point 2, above. Are they, though? It’s been put forward online that Ninja (real name: Watkin Tudor Jones) is neither Afrikaans-speaking nor working class, unlike the milieu he mirrors. ‘Cultural appropriation’ was a phrase used. The band say they’re playing characters.
4 The show should be hard to forget
Their three albums so far ($O$, Ten$ion and this summer’s Donker Mag) have been cult hits, and their brand of snotty rave-rap has as many fans as the head-clubbing subtlety of the fashions. Check their videos on YouTube and tell us you aren’t at least morbidly curious.
5 ‘My bodyguard helps me get to the bar / Neill Blomkamp’s makin’ me a movie star.’
So rapped the band on their 2012 single ‘Baby’s On Fire’, and it has come to pass. See Ninja and Vi$$er later this year in Chappie, the third feature from District 9 and Elysium writer and director Blomkamp.
02 Academy, Glasgow, Wed 14 Jan.